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  • Oil advances as Iran nuclear talks miss deadline [View news story]
    Obama is desperate for a legacy and so he will cave to Iran - its all Keary has been slowly doing at these negotiations.
    Jul 11, 2015. 09:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil advances as Iran nuclear talks miss deadline [View news story]
    Iran has been demanding more and more and the US has been giving more and more. Obama is desperate for a legacy and it shows!!!!
    Jul 11, 2015. 09:05 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Copper Price Forecast, July 2015: China Demand Rules All [View article]
    India could be a surprise for copper as expansion is the name of the game under the current government which will drive copper demand. Question si will it be enough to make up for weakness elsewhere?

    Jul 10, 2015. 08:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deadline day for new Greek proposal [View news story]
    The idea of "once you join, you can not leave" is nuts to say the least. It is the equivalent to outlawing divorce. it would be especially messy for Greece and no one wants to go there but once it happens life goes on and things usually get better. The "contagion" thing is a sham as well as once other countries see the difficulties Greece will face, it will be the last choice for them.

    Jul 9, 2015. 09:53 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cenovus Energy Sells Lands: Is A Dividend Cut Next? [View article]
    A view from the inside


    Sitting with “a lot of cash right now,” Cenovus Energy Inc. is considering where to spend that money, mulling over restarting some of the oilsands projects it had halted or slowed, financing its conventional projects and buying back shares, an industry conference heard.

    Earlier this year, to preserve capital, Cenovus shut down its stratigraphic drilling program, slowed down on projects that were less than 70 per cent complete (Christina Lake phase G, Foster Creek phase H and Narrows Lake, and did very little work at Grand Rapids) and reduced its workforce by 15 per cent (about 800 contractors and employees).

    The company also completed a bought deal financing worth $1.5 billion.

    At the end of June, Cenovus announced it was selling its royalty business to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for gross cash proceeds of $3.3 billion, effective April 1 and expected to close by the end of July.

    With an improved financial outlook, the company is now considering its options, said Harbir Chhina, Cenovus’s executive vice-president of oilsands, told the 2015 TD Securities Calgary Energy Conference.

    Before the end of July, Cenovus will provide an update on its plans that could see restarting projects or bringing back its conventional business, which had been producing 70,000 to 80,000 bbls per day and was economical at $50 per bbl, said Chhina.

    Maybe both.

    “We can trigger some of those projects and bring some of the oilsands projects back too and firm up our balance sheet a little bit. Maybe at these prices even consider some share buybacks, so all the options will be looked at here,” said Chhina.

    In addition, to preserve capital, the company had introduced a three per cent-discounted dividend reinvestment plan and is now considering shedding it, he said. (In the company’s Q1 report, it said more than one-third of Cenovus shareholders participated in the discounted DRIP, resulting in cash savings for the company of approximately $81 million.)

    According to Chhina, the company has saved about $200 million — approximately $120 million in operating costs with the remainder in general and administrative and capital costs.

    “We are giving some money back to the conventional business,” he said, naming its Weyburn project but adding its Pelican Lake project, where the company has been evaluating the use of surfactants to supplement polymer technology, needs higher oil prices to be profitable.

    The company is currently working on Foster Creek phase G and Christina Lake phase F, which are making money at WTI prices in the $40- to $50-per bbl range, he told the conference.

    “We believe Christina Lake G is probably the first one that should go into the hopper and then Foster Creek H and then Narrows A, in that order. We’ll look at the dividend too,” he said.

    Existing phases of Foster Creek and Christina Lake are producing above nameplate capacity with steam-oil ratios of 1.7 at Christina Lake and 2.4 at Foster Creek.

    A nearby forest fire shut down operations at Foster Creek for 10 days in May but restarting went smoothly and production is now flush, he said.

    Adding to its rosy financial picture, Cenovus’s cost structure is coming down rapidly. “We’re starting to see a big difference,” he said.

    The company’s operating costs fell by 20 to 25 per cent from the first quarter of 2014 to the same quarter of 2015, he said, adding some parts of sustaining capital such as for pads, pipelines and earthworks have dropped by 30 per cent on new bids.

    He believes those costs could plunge by a further 30 per cent.

    In addition, recently the company changed the design of its drilling pads, saving 40 to 50 per cent on their metal content and the equivalent amount in their cost, said Chhina.

    With plans to ship 10 to 20 per cent of its production by rail, last month Cenovus bought Canexus Corporation’s rail terminal in Bruderheim, Alta..

    Last year, when Cenovus was railing oil to the West Coast it was seeing an uplift of $10 to $20 per bbl but that has now fallen to between a negative amount and $5 per bbl; however, the company continues to believe rail will be a key part of its business in future and that the Bruderheim terminal will provide it with flexibility, said Chhina.

    On average, the company transported more than 13,000 bbls per day gross of crude oil by rail in the first quarter of this year to markets in Canada and the United States, including 18 unit train shipments.

    The company continues to invest a great deal of money and effort into technology, which is what will improve the entire industry’s cost structure, he said.

    “Things are going to get cheaper. There is less competition, less money available, all of those things are going to happen and then you throw technology on top of that, it’s going to be a big plus,” he said.

    As part of its commitment to developing new technologies, for two days in May Cenovus employees stopped work and attended sessions wherein Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield lectured on safety, motivation and, in the development of new technologies, the “benefits” of failing “early, fast and cheap” in the search for successful new techniques and processes that will boost production and lower costs.

    “Except for oil prices and share prices, everything is working really well,” Chinna told the conference.

    Jul 9, 2015. 09:27 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Encana - Why Investors Should Not Expect A Turnaround, In 5 Charts [View article]
    Encana also has some of the best land positions. They are steadily dropping costs and as well should be one of the big players supplying the upcoming LNG plants. They are very well positioned to ride the current situation and prosper in the future.

    Jul 8, 2015. 04:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Encana - Why Investors Should Not Expect A Turnaround, In 5 Charts [View article]
    Yes its an extremely negative view that assumes the worse. In the article, you could replace ECA with a lot of other oil companies out there as they are all dependent on commodities prices and the cost of debt. Actually. ECA is in better shape than many.
    Jul 8, 2015. 02:21 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bull Case For U.S. Steel Is Speculative [View article]
    The erratic performance of ArcelorMittel has more to do with the situation in Greece than anything else as they have large European Exposure. MT is actually making Money in Europe.
    Jul 8, 2015. 07:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shock expressed as Greece has no new plan [View news story]
    based on their actions, it sounds to me that they are daring Europe to kick them out. They are repeat offenders that have no intentions of paying their bills - that should tell you something!!!!
    Jul 7, 2015. 03:35 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Markets open lower on Greece worries [View news story]
    After the Greek fiasco, people should be running from Europe and investing in America!! Markets should be up!! it was a fiasco before the no vote!!!!
    Jul 6, 2015. 10:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Greece Votes 'No' - Now What? [View article]
    The only Greeks that are getting $335 a month in pensions are the very old that died some time ago ( remember that they had more dead people collecting pensions than any country in the world). most of their pensioners are getting 3 times more than that.
    Jul 6, 2015. 09:08 AM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Greece Votes 'No' - Now What? [View article]
    Time for Europe to get over Greece, cut its loses and move on. No one will be lending Greece any money anytime soon and so they will have a big problem. They have a history of not repaying their debit. Problem is that the European governments bailed out the private sector by taking over this debt. Bad idea as the private sector will never learn. It would have been far better had they let the Likes of Goldman Sacks take the hair cut they deserved.
    Current structure of the Euro = major problems!!
    Jul 6, 2015. 09:03 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Plight Of Greek Pensioners? [View article]
    Greece = a corrupt democracy run a muck!!! The current administration is just trying to hold on to the past so it can continue in its old ways. Cradle of democracy was a very long time ago and Greece has not been the cradle of anything for thousands of years.
    They need to wake up, loose the old ways and start moving forward including paying their bills. Voting for parties that keep promising more and promising to bail them out is over.
    Jul 4, 2015. 08:15 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ArcelorMittal: A Safe Way To Play A Long-Term Steel Rebound [View article]
    One can only wish for a dip to $6! I would quickly double my position if it did but I doubt we will see that price.
    Jul 3, 2015. 07:49 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ArcelorMittal: A Safe Way To Play A Long-Term Steel Rebound [View article]
    MT is probably the best bet in the steel industry. Steel has always been a cyclical business and we are now at the bottom of the cycle. It also looks Like A Harshaw is doing something about imports, overcapacity and rationalizing the north American operations. Laying off 2200 in Mexico is not good for the workers but if the Mexican government is not going to do anything about dumping, they need to realize that their are consequences to their steel industry.
    The recently purchased Calvert facility is also a very new finishing plant which should do a lot to help improve American operations. They got this for 20% of what it cost to build.
    I suspect that Greece is having an overly negative impact on MT as well. Greece will be over soon and should not have much economic impact on the rest of Europe.

    Long MT - JMO
    Jul 3, 2015. 07:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment